I was reminded last night that I once said, "In order to be emotionally healthy people should laugh every 10 minutes and cry every 10 days." It's funny, because I don't cry nearly that often anymore (now I'm laughing about crying), and if I were to be asked now I would probably say that it is emotionally UNhealthy to cry that often. However, as I reflected upon that comment, the season of my life in which I said it, and the surrounding circumstances, what I realized is at the time I was probably right - I DID need to laugh/cry that often.
It seems there are two camps that it is all too easy to fall into
some people have intense pain inside but choose not to look at it or recognize it, thereby laughing all the time and never crying
while others have lots to be joyful and happy about but choose to only look at the difficult and depressing, thereby crying often while rarely laughing.
At the time, when I said we should laugh every 10 minutes and cry every 10 days, I had some deep emotional pain that I was going through. For 2 months I went through a grieving type process and was working through some intense pain, that at times was unbearable. However, it seems to me that what kept me emotionally healthy and stable, even in the midst of that, was that I not only looked at my pain but also at the joys of everyday life; the fact that I didn't cry myself to sleep every night but at times chose instead to laugh at the jokes of friends and family and see the joy and blessings around me. However, equally important was the fact that I did cry; the fact that I didn't cover up my pain with jokes but was rather raw about it when appropriate times arose and shared my deep pain and anguish with those who were close. I cried every 10 days and laughed every 10 minutes, because that was my proportion of pain/joy at the time.
And that was my conclusion last night, in reflecting upon my statement. I do not think that every person really needs to laugh or cry that often to be emotionally healthy, but I DO think that every person should laugh AND cry. We all have painful things in our lives and we all have amazing things in our lives; what is important is that we recognize both, admit both, and share both.
When was the last time you cried? When was the last time you laughed?